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School Reports & Videos > Canutillo Elementary
Canutillo Elementary School: Using technology to support Constructivist Learning Environments

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Case Overview
Canutillo Elementary is a public K-6 grade school located in a small town in the high desert outside of El Paso, Texas. This is an economically depressed area: all the students qualify for free lunch. The ethnic heritage of the 675 students is approximately 96% Hispanic, 3% White, and 1% other. Many students are either native Spanish speakers or bilingual.

Creating constructivist learning environments supported by technology became a schoolwide focus at Canutillo starting in 1998, when the school took part in a two-year professional development program offered by a regional education lab. School leaders embraced a constructivist view of learning, incorporating it into the school’s mission statement and encouraging and supported teachers in implementing it. Teachers design lessons so students actively participate in learning, form understandings, and make connections. The teachers at Canutillo create lessons that enable students to work together and to make products that show what they know and what they can do.

Many of the computer resources are classroom-based, so the innovation can be employed several times a week (this varies by teacher). The number of students per class and the nature of the activity determine the whether or not rotations of groups through the computer stations in each class are viable. These and other logistical considerations may deter some teachers from implementing the innovation less often.

The innovation is schoolwide and involves all curriculum areas. About 70% of the forty teachers attended the formal training. Of them, it was estimated that 50% to 80% regularly use technology in support of constructivist learning environments.

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Video Case of School
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